Perspectives chinoises has been officially recognized by the French Agency for the evaluation of scientific research (AERES) as an authoritative academic journal in both political sciences and sociology/demography.
20/F Wanchai Central Building
CEFC - Taipei branch
Room B111, Research Center For
Macao 2000, Macau: A Cultural Janus, Aomen huigui qianhou de wenti yu duice (Macau at the handover: problems and policies), Aomen Gailun (An Introduction to Macau), Segredos da Sobrevivência – História Política de Macau (The Path of Survival: An
Put together by Jean Berlie, a French researcher who has lived in Macau for many years, this timely publication sheds a comprehensive light on the society (in the first part) and the economy (in the second) of the Portuguese enclave on the eve of its return to China. Divided into ten short chapters and bringing together a number of often expert writers, Macao 2000 shows what Geoffrey Gunn calls in his preface the fragility, and even the vulnerability of this final piece of confetti of the old Lusitanian Empire.
In the first contribution, Christine Cheng carries on the ideas in her book Macau : A Cultural Janus, and presents, in a very synthetic way, the hybrid and ambivalent character of the history and culture of the enclave. Jean Berlie continues, with a complete and highly useful review of the society and economy of Macau, before leaving it to Lo Shiu-hing, one of the foremost specialists on this subject, to show that behind the political system, modelled on that of Hong Kong and which is currently being put in place, vote-catching relationships persist that are essential to an understanding of the way this small political community works. Berlie then goes on to analyse the rapid advances made in the area of education and the difficulty that the Special Administrative Region will have managing the teaching of three written and four spoken languages (Mandarin, Cantonese, Portuguese and English). The first part concludes with a reflection by French food specialist Louis Augustin-Jean on Macanese cuisine, which has become an essential element of the identity of the enclaves Sino-Portuguese community.
Although shorter than the first part, the second part is equally as informative. Taking a macro-economic view, Toyohiro Maruya analyses the enclaves progressive economic decline. Raymond Tse then dissects the politics of housing and the housing market in Macau, while Robert Scott explains that despite a financial structure that reflects that of Hong Kong, Macau is let down by the widespread image of corruption and crime in its gaming industry. Finally, Cao Yunhua highlights the special links that have been forged between Macau and Southeast Asia.
Macao 2000 is a handy monograph, yet it stops short
of considering the territorys weaknesses in relation to the issues discussed
and of speculating on its nonetheless uncertain future.
A reworking of a thesis, this book analyses the two, Chinese and Portuguese, faces of Macau, and shows how much this doorway to South China, or rather the natural harbour of the Pearl River Delta (Aomen, or Oumun, the Mandarin and Cantonese names for Macau) is a doorstep or a cultural crossroads between the East and the West. Christine Cheng observes close up the reality and the symbols of this double-faced culture. Showing both the contradictions and the points where the Portuguese and Chinese civilisations meet or pass, the author focuses her analysis not so much on the historical formation of the present cultural Janus, but rather on what is representative of this genesis. Thus, the removal in 1992 of the statue of the famous nineteenth-century Governor Amaral mounted on horseback by order of Peking marked Macaus passage into a pre-post-colonial era. In addition, taking its inspiration from post-modern theories and, unfortunately, a little too often from the jargon that accompanies them, this work fixes on dissecting the colonialist, even exotic discourse on Macau.
Perceptible in this book, however, is a profound nostalgia
for what has been fashioned by if not the citys cultural melting pot then
at least the areas of its hybrid culture, represented in particular by the small
Macanese community (around 10,000 people). These areas may be few, but the connections
established between the cult of the Virgin Mary, imported by Christianity, of
Mazu (Tian Hou) and of Guanyin are a source of their vitality, and reveal a living
and breathing true tolerance of religion and strong religious pluralism (see also
Christina Chengs contribution in this special issue). Moreover, Christina
Cheng recognises, in her conclusion, that Macau is a great exception to the neo-colonialist
or neo-imperialist rulethat more than just being a base for
Western domination, Macau has long since become a place of meetings and of compromise,
a city of cultural ecumenism.
Put together by one of the top specialists on Macau, best known in the West under the name of Herbert Yee, this book is probably the most complete Chinese language publication on the Portuguese enclave in the run-up to the handover. More than forty writers, for the most part from Macau and among them notably Wu Zhiliang (see hereafter), Lu Zhaoxiang (Lo Shiu-hing) and Leng Xia (Leng Ha), have participated in this collection of around fifty short contributions. It is the diversity of the views that forms the character of this work : journalists, politicians and civil servants all bring their own individual perspectives to the book. A certain number of chapters have already been published as articles in journals, such as Aomen zhengce yanjiu (Political studies on Macau) or in local newspapers. Others are written transcriptions of interviews with personalities from the enclave. This is what provides the wide range of styles and the differences among the contributions.
Presented in three sections, this work is for the large part dedicated to political, institutional and juridical issues. Some interesting developments with regard to these questions are worthy of note. The second section on the economy, offers little original analysis (with the exception of, for example, the chapter on migrant workers). If the final part addresses a multitude of subjects (Catholicism, the political role of social organisations, the Macanese community, the media, the future of the Portuguese language, the organisation of the police, juvenile delinquency, the environment, etc.) it only skims the surface of these cultural and social problems.
For the Sinophone reader, the book remains, nevertheless, a good introduction to Macau.
Written by a lecturer at Jinan University (Guangdong province), and author of several works on Hong Kong, this book is one of the most handy publications in Chinese on Macau. In the first section, developing the comparison with Monaco, Feng retraces the history, and highlights the main characteristics of the colony. In the second section, he offers a presentation of the political and juridical institutions as inspired by the Portuguese who had for many years controlled the territory. In the following section, entitled An Historical and Cultural Museum, Feng evokes the richness of the Sino-Lusitanian patrimony of Macau and reminds the reader of the efforts made by the exiting authorities to maintain it. Curiously, it is in this section that he chooses to address the territorys social problems and, notably, the deterioration of public order and the conflict among triad gangs. The final section describes the genesis and the gradual establishment of Macaus new institutions, those that will officially open on December 20th 1999. Despite being devoid of analysis, and even a point of view, this book is a mine of information: statistics, institutional tables, a chronology and appendices (the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law) abound. In this sense, Aomen gailun is a useful vade mecum for whoever wants a guide to understanding the Macau of 1999.
Ilaria Maria Sala
This work by Wu Zhiliang, taken from his doctoral thesis, is one of the most important texts by a Chinese historian to have appeared in Portuguese on the political history of Macau. Wu turns to the history of the Portuguese city in an attempt to solve one of the mysteries surrounding Macau : how has a city administered by foreigners been able to survive for so long beside a China so closed to the outside? The secrets, such as they are unveiled by Wu, lay precisely in the enclaves will to be a window on the world all the while making use of all the resources that diplomacy has to offer to take full advantage of its usefulness. According to Wu, Macau experienced its most prosperous years each time it truly opened up, be it to China or to the outside, and all the time accepting the ever-present superimposition of Chinese domination on the Portuguese administration. Wu thus offers this recipe for the future: maintain an openness to the world and be highly aware of the cultural diversity of Macau in order to promote the common interests that exist between China and the enclave. Packed with original documents and rich in illustrations, this book offers the reader a wealth of information on the successive stages of the Portuguese presence in Macau. Through its five chapters, Wu makes use of comparison to analyse the different types of political organisations and the actual division of sovereignty implemented by the Peking (or Nanking) and Lisbon governments. Relying on first and second hand sources from the two countries concerned, this work offers an indispensable treatment of the evolution of the Macau question in terms of both Chinese and Portuguese politics. Only one regret, however: all the Chinese sources are translated here in Portuguese, without references either in the original language, or even in Pinyin.
Translated from Shengcun zhidao: lun Aomen zhengzhi shidu yu zhengzhi fazhan (The Path of Survival: An Analysis of the Political System and of the Political Evolution of Macau), Macau, Changren jiaoyu xuehui, 1998.
The modest aims of this book are certainly its strong point: the strength of the analysis lies essentially in the general organisation of the text, subdivided into ten chapters. They cover the political, economic and social history of Macau from the sixteenth century to 1999, placing it in the more general context of the major changes that have taken place in China. The product of four years of lectures given at the University of Macau and inspired by a feeble knowledge among students in Macau of their own history, this book makes skillful and detailed use of the best second hand sources available. The author, a specialist in social anthropology, is at her best when addressing issues of identity and the mixing of the enclaves various communities. Useful appendices (maps, photos, portraits, an index of Chinese characters, etc.) make up the full complement of 150 particularly dense pages. Even so, the quality of the printing of the illustrations is disappointing as is the editors choice to allow a brown text to be printed on a cream background that is supposedly the reproduction of an ancient map: the subsequent difficulty one has reading it ruins somewhat the great accessibility of this pertinent little manual.
Ilaria Maria Sala
Reissued on the occasion of the handover of Macau, the works of Austin Coates on Macau, continue, as all his work, to be very much appreciated by an ever-growing group of fans. The three publications about the Portuguese colony bear witness to a lasting love that this British mandarin has felt for Macau since his first visit there. The talent of Coates the historian, which was already visible in Macao and the British and A Macao Narrativewhich was for a long time the only historical account of Macau in English, adds to that of the novelist of City of Broken Promises, a novel set against an historical background that recreates the life of Martha Merop, one of the most remarkable women in the history of Macau: Chinese and abandoned at birth, she became the most successful businesswoman in the colony, thanks to her determination and also her long liaison with the Englishman Thomas Kuyck van Meriop, founder of Lloyds of London.